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A Normal Life of Cruelty in Night Essay


Night, by Elie Wiesel, is an autobiographical book about the survival of a young Jew that is living in the times of the horrifying Holocaust. The characters face terrifying accounts that takes place at the concentration camp, Auschwitz. Wiesel writes of his battle for survival and the utmost degradation of the human race. What he sees and experiences as a young boy shapes his outlook on the world entirely. The story is powerful and affecting through the negligence of the Nazis. In Night, the people are forced to adapt to this horrific situation by focusing on the needs of survival, resisting faith and religion, and simply becoming accustomed to their surroundings.

The simple task of the prisoners in concentration camps is to survive the inhumane acts the Nazis perform. Enduring the torment alone would not relieve them of death, but would facilitate them to live. When first placed in this situation, it would seem almost impossible to be able to live in these circumstances. With disease being highly contagious, food being scarce, and the harsh freezing winters, one would imagine surviving is impractical. How do the victims survive? They do so by being selfish and sacrificing. Many sons broke the father-son bond they shared because of survival. Wiesel states I once saw one of thirteen beating his father because the latter had not made his bed properly. The old man was crying softly while the boy shouted: If you dont stop crying at once I shant bring you any more bread (Wiesel 508). This passage shows how self-seeking the son is and how he would turn any mistake for his gain. In order to save themselves, the prisoners are willing to sacrifice their family.

Many decide to give up faith and religion during the Holocaust because they can not understand how God could permit such cruelty to take place. Eliezer, the main character, sees that this time period exposes the selfishness, evil, and cruelty by everyone surrounding him including himself. He feels God must be hideous or must not exist at all. In Night, Wiesel says I heard the man asking: Where is God now? And I heard a voice within me answer him: Where is he? Here He is- He is hanging here on this gallows (Wiesel 509). In this quote, Wiesel is describing the hanging of a child. If God made a young boy die in this way, then God must not exist, therefore he is dead. Once Eliezer sees this, he stops believing in God entirely, he cannot understand the fact that God would make a young boy suffer death in such agony. In addition to the remorse the prisoners felt, they were to march past the body and look at his face. Can God exist and be this relentless? The existence of this horror and the lack of divine shapes the faith of the victims forever.

Adapting to horrendous concentration camps can only be possible by simply becoming accustomed to it. After seeing this terror day by day it has become routine. The events that occur outside of the camps are unknown to the victims; the food is awful and minimal; the winters are bitter; disease is in the air; the conditions are exhausting; and the Nazis are demanding and brutal but still they act as slaves to the them and endured it all. They know to survive these conditions; they had to be mentally capable or would be just another lifeless prisoner. As the days became months, every single person that is held captive sees the torture done on people just like them. They see their family and friends disappear forever and the hope and grief becomes lost. By the end of the Holocaust, death gives an escape from hell, provides them of strength to never give up, or has no effect on them. Wiesel states, The thousands who died daily at Auschwitz and at Birkenau in the crematory ovens no long troubled me (Wiesel 507). This passage states that Eliezer is now used to all the deaths that surround him. He no longer feels scared of death and the effect of bereavement has also gone.

The victims of the Holocaust are adjusting to the shocking events of the concentration camps by driving their attention of survival itself, giving up their beliefs in faith and religion, and viewing the situation as a replacement of their normal lifestyle. Night, by Elie Wiesel, is a true dramatic story of his imprisonment in a concentration camp. The torture and the amount of loss he suffered there is unimaginable. The powerful story is based on the main character, Eliezer, and his depictions of the Holocaust. He shares his frightening experience being enslaved under the Nazis. Inhumanity is a frequent occurrence within the walls of the concentration camps. Fully understanding what Wiesel experienced is impractical but the accounts he has faced is heartbreaking and a true tragedy.

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